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tv   Headline News  RT  June 25, 2014 4:00pm-4:30pm EDT

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good to have you with us here on our teacher day i will research are. coming up on r t the fight over water in detroit and recent months water services have been cut off of thousands of people who haven't been able to pay their bill and now detroiters are reaching out to the u.n. for help a report from michigan just ahead. and the supreme court has spoken today the high court handed down to inform decisions and that includes a ruling against the warrantless search of an arrest of persons phone in that look at that coming up. and activists continue to release videos of farm animals being abused now there's a kickstarter account for aerial drone projects to capture such video more on that later in the show.
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it's wednesday june twenty fifth four pm in washington d.c. i know you're a david and you're watching r t america. well being today with the ongoing battle over water in detroit earlier this year the detroit water and sewerage department announced it would begin shutting off water service for fifteen hundred to three thousand customers every week if their water bills were not paid and just last week the city approved an increase in the price residents would have to pay for water now a coalition of activists are pushing back by appealing to the un high commission for human rights to intervene on behalf of the bankrupt city's most vulnerable citizens to break down all of the details in the fight over water earlier i spoke with artie's make a lopez who's on the ground in detroit and i first asked her why residents are having such a hard time paying for these bills when there are really depends on who you ask if
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you ask the folks at the detroit water and sewer department they'll tell you that people are simply putting these bills on the back burner and giving precedence to some of the other bills that might me shut off more immediately things like your cable bill or your electricity bill because in the past we really haven't seen any massive shut off in detroit like we are seeing currently if you ask people on the other side however people like the detroit water brigade they will say this people simply cannot pay their bills because of what is going on this city so right now in the city there is a forty percent poverty rate and an eight percent unemployment rate and people are really having a hard time kind of paying those bills off now just to give you an idea of how high those bills are those bills have gone up one hundred twenty percent in the past ten years so it is much higher than the national average here and there are a bunch of reasons for that including aging water infrastructure and fewer people actually using the water but the national average is about forty dollars for
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a monthly water bill here in this point it is sixty five dollars every month for your water bill and on top of that the detroit city council just approved another measure that will raise rates another eight point seven percent on july first adding five more. dollars to every month's bills so as you can imagine that is a huge financial burden but at the same time the detroit water and sewer department has been wanting to shut off the water for quite some time to people that are thousands of dollars delinquent on their bills they just have not been able to do it until now and the reason is because they saw an unusually harsh winter in detroit there is a moratorium that they will not shut off water if the temperatures drop below thirty two degrees and that's not necessarily for the consumer's benefit that's for the benefit of the pipes simply said that means that the pipes will freeze if there is not running water going through those types at thirty two degrees or below so now that the temperatures are warming up they are actually going ahead and shutting
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off pipes of thousands of people around the city and there is on the converse i had no moratorium if the temperatures get too high already so the u.n. special repertoire received a plea from activists asking for help in addressing what they've described as a human rights crisis has a special repertoire responded yet. they have indeed responded to it briefly the hugh the special repertoire to the un water and sanitary commission went ahead and talked to the independent what she said first of all is that she does not have enough information about the situation specifically in detroit in order to be able to jump to any broad conclusions she says if it is true that detroit is shutting off the water to people who simply cannot pay for their bills because they don't not have the money for that and that might constitute a human rights violation here's another part what she said to the independent quote this connection due to nonpayment is only permissible if it can be shown that the householder is able to pay but is not paying in other words that the terrace is
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affordable the problem though with that statement by cattery to the albuquerque is that it's very hard to prove what people in this city can and cannot afford that's because the water bills go to the address and not necessarily the person that's living in them so the detroit water and sewer department doesn't actually know if there are children living in the household what the demographic breakdown is if they're elderly if there are people who have medical needs for the water so they really can't determine what kind of economic basis these people are living under simply they can determine that there aren't they are not paying their bills at the moment certainly hard to distinguish between the two now you spoke with a spokesman from the detroit water and sewer department today did you get a sense as to what their justification is for shutting off the water supply. right america their justification is simply it's like every other service you get what you pay for if you don't pay for the service you cannot have it what they are kind
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of dealing with right now is this massive debt we're talking about the city of detroit is dealing with eight hundred billion dollars worth of debt twenty three percent of that debt is due to the building you see behind me the water and sanitary commission so five billion dollars in total they say that their parish their pipes are aging that their infrastructure needs repair and replacement that water quality standards are going up and that people simply need to pay if they expect the services and the quality of water to be the same now i spoke to spokes person jeff gregory ino and here's what else he had to say about the justifications for this. detainee consumers brize an eighteen z. they have bedded two in the way that the. try to solve that is by temporarily interrupting service so we're not the only ones that where that is a consequence if you don't pay your bill want we are not any
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show off and issue there it's a bad debt collection initiative. so it's kind of backed up his point there in may alone to destroy water and sewer department should also water to forty five hundred homes in that twenty four hours twenty seven hundred of those people or about sixty percent came to this building pay off their debt and have their water back on now of those who are remaining the eight hundred or so forty eight percent of them had their water restored within forty eight hours because they were actually able to come in here so he says that this is proof that people are in fact able to pay their bills off they simply are not doing it and the majority of the people who cannot pay their bills off need to come in here to be able to seek the financial assistance in order to have their water restored all right meghan looking forward to a full report on this when you come back archie's making lopez in detroit think. two major rulings came down from the supreme court today and a historic unanimous ruling the country's highest court said that cell phones and
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smartphones generally cannot be searched by police without a warrant during arrests ruling on two cases from california and massachusetts the just as noted both a right to privacy and a need to investigate crimes but the justice is ultimately ruled on the side of privacy in the court opinion issued today it said quote modern cell phones are not just another technological convenience with all they contain and all they may reveal they hold for many americans the privacies of life and other separate ruling the supreme court handed down a decision on the constitutionality of aereo t.v. streaming service and a six to three ruling the court found that area service violates the copyright act by capturing broadcasters t.v. shows through dime sized antennas and charging subscribers for the delivery even though it legally captures those shows over the air and joining me to discuss the implications of the two decisions that came down today is criminal defense attorney
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don katz here in d.c. and from new york attorney david lightman thank you gentlemen for joining me ari john i want to start with you i want to get your immediate reaction to the first case the case about privacy what do you think are you surprised by the ruling i'm ecstatic and also this means that the supreme court is still protecting the fourth amendment the united states constitution which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures with the supreme court the that even if an arrestee has a canister in his pocket a film canister or the police can open that up and find drugs in it in the person can be prosecuted for it if the same person who's arrested is found with a camera in his cell phone in his pocket the police now need to get a search warrant from a judicial officer to be able to search that camera and say that cell phone generally and david how big of a win do you think this is for privacy advocates. well it's certainly
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a big win in terms of the criminal aspect of. the the issues i think the bigger long term issue is whether private companies can continue to mine people's dot is and what what use is that private companies can put to them so this does address one small problem the warrantless searches but for example you know with the n.s.a. spying situation those are searches that are done with warrants in a secret court so there's still a lot of work to do for privacy advocates absolutely all it's incredible to think about cell phones i mean they're so into roles where life ninety percent of american adults own a cell phone the court opinion quoted one poll that says nearly three quarters of smartphone users report being within five feet of their phones most of the time some of them even use the phones in their shower which is was crazy to think about
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so considering how you know how near and close we hold these phones was what could a cell phone potentially reveal about someone. well i think you know people use their cell phones now as the remote control of their lives and i think it's you know basically a digital imprint of everything going on in your life and so it is a very big deal you know to protect the privacy of those communications the way we used to protect certain phone calls and and in person conversations i have many clients that prefer to simply send e-mails or taxed rather than talk on the phone now so it's it's also a question you know for lawyers or protecting attorney client privilege as well absolutely that's a really good point and john a big question that's now lingering is what does this latest ruling really mean for the many people who have been convicted based on that information that was
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alternately you know taken by a police officer does it does it change their fate whatsoever. what the supreme court usually does is to say that if this is a new change in the law that people already convicted under the old law maybe can't get something some sort of relief so the defendants should go ahead and challenge their convictions have it was because of related to warrantless searches of their cell phones but they're not guaranteed to get relief now as i understand the police can still examine the physical aspects of the fall and that's just to make sure that it's not a weapon for example if they got pulled over of the results or cation in your mind does it does that leave any will go room for any invasion of privacy whatsoever if they can do that or is that a bare minimum expectation for officers to have well sure police officers can look at the outside of the cell phone as long as they don't open it up as long as they don't operate and electronics the u.s. supreme court for decades has gone down an area where there are many areas where
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police can go ahead and search people and search their information without getting search warrants what happened today with the supreme court's decision is going to hopefully make police think twice about getting a search warrant or not for instance in an adjoining county in virginia it appears that police will routinely see them search warrants for cell phones even before this ruling came down from the supreme court just in case a ruling like this came down and they protect themselves that way and chief justice roberts said the following of the court's ruling he said we cannot deny that our decision today will have an impact on the ability of law enforcement to combat crime privacy comes at a cost so he makes a really interesting point i mean should we be concerned at all about the effect this will have on law enforcement ability to do their investigations the bill of rights to the united states constitution does not provide protection to the police and the police function and provides protection to individuals and supreme court
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chief justice roberts is by no means a liberal and if he came down on this ruling this way that requires warrants that salimi. considering police functions as well. and david moving on to the second ruling that i mentioned earlier aereo it's a streaming service what was area is our argument in their defense and why exactly do you think it didn't stick well their argument was that you know if they used all these tens of thousands of tiny antenna is that they could evade the copyright law because they were essentially doing no more than somebody who puts rabbit ears on their t.v. to get a local television signal they were just doing the job as an equipment manufacturer for for the consumer the supreme court didn't buy that argument and consistent with their past approach to say you can't use technology just to evade
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the copyright laws and because the area was making a second transmission in other words they were taking the transmission and then making the transmission to the users that the transmission fell under the public performance right under the copyright. and david this is one of the biggest rulings seen by the television industry since the one nine hundred eighty s. one thousand nine hundred four i think what kind of implications does this have on how americans interact with television. well i think it has very little because most of the services that consumers use like in netflix or hulu or other streaming services that the networks themselves are putting out are legally licensed aereo and a few other companies like aereo who copied what aereo was doing were really trying to evade the copyright law and not pay for the content so i think at the end of the day this result will you know will cause very little change whereas
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had aereo prevailed it would of really been an issue for whether or not a lot of companies could afford to put content out there that was just going to be used for free right do you do you think there's any concern that this could have you know stifled some perhaps healthy competition to a largely powerful industry. no not not not at all this area was in fact not really used by that many that many people and the service that it was providing was really not that useful so i don't think there's any issue with respect to technological innovation there can be lots of technological innovations in the entertainment industries where services that develop great technology can take licenses under the copyright law to to to do what they want to do and to get content to consumers copyright is a permission based legal regime it's not you know you take first and then ask for
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permission later you have to ask for permission first an area wouldn't do that all right criminal defense attorney john katz here in d.c. and also attorney david lightman in new york thank you so much thank you you thank . an oregon federal judge has ruled in favor of americans wanting to challenge their placement on the government's no fly list in a first of its kind ruling u.s. district judge anna brown stated that international travel by plane is a necessary liberty for members of a free society and that because of this the government must change its no fly list procedures the government has argued that since someone can travel by land or sea that isn't a citizen has no right to travel by air and therefore there is no need to change the procedures but district judge brown challenge the government's opinion stating that such an argument ignores the numerous reasons that an individual may have for wanting or needing to travel overseas quickly such as the birth
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a child the death of a loved one a business opportunity or a religious obligation before the ruling federal investigators are not routinely have to tell a person they are on the no fly list or have to give them any factual reason as to why the only room requirement investigators need to place a person on the list was a reasonable suspicion of the individual is a known or suspected terrorist constitutional attorney john whitehead agreed with that ruling here's what he had to say. what i read on the particular case is that the way it's going to shake your way the no fly list operate it does restrict the right to travel i would agree with that it's definitely discriminatory against different idiology religions targeting lessons and i was kind of saying so the way it's considered so that what basically the t.s.a. and the other agency is going to have to come up with a plan where people challenge this that there's a way they can challenge and get off the no fly list cause we have a few cases we're looking at right now where people just. had
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a weird arrest record or something like that if they're automatically put on no fly list it has nothing to do with terrorism or whatever currently there are about twenty thousand names on the no fly list roughly five hundred of them are u.s. citizens. and now to iraq where authorities say a suicide bomber has blown himself up at an outdoor market south of baghdad killing thirteen people and wounding twenty five more no one has claimed responsibility for the attack yet many are suspecting that it's the work of something militants who have for years targeted security forces and shiite civilians the attack is likely to further stoke sectarian tensions in the country that have been high end as the sunny insurgent group isis overruns key cities in the north and west secretary of state john kerry and others have called for an emergency unity government to overcome the sectarian conflict but iraq's shiite prime minister nouri al maliki has rejected that plan he says that forming
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a national salvation government would go against the results of parliamentarian elections in which his coalition won the majority of the seats meanwhile ninety additional u.s. military advisors arrives in the country today as part of a group of three hundred president obama said would be deployed as a response to the crisis the troops are intended to assess the situation in iraq before the president considers any further military action. and a former employee at an idaho do. barry farm has been sentenced to one hundred eighty days in jail and two years of probation after an undercover video shot by an animal rights group showed workers stomping dragging and beating towels inside a milking barn a man convicted is forty year old javier victor rojas but ways he pleaded guilty in may to misdemeanor animal abuse following events recorded and a hidden camera by a member of mercy for animals the video shows rojas lowe is striking and jabbing at
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cows with the tane in the face and head two other workers in the video are also charged with animal abuse and one of them was sentenced in february the video prompted idaho lawmakers to pass a law criminalizing surreptitious recording at agriculture facilities but animal rights and environmental groups are suing the state now to overturn what's being called an ag gag the law one of the plaintiffs on that lawsuit is will potter he's an independent investigative journalist that's been working to expose the truth about the treatment of animals on factory farms and now he's taking that investigation to a whole nother level by embarking on the challenge of charging this cruelty from the sky by using drones sounds very interesting joining me to break down this new project is author an animal rights activists will potter thank you so much for joining me to further your so talk about this initiative a lot of people hear this they think drones and factory farms it sounds very
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interesting a lot of people wouldn't think to do this so what inspired this idea for you oh well there's just so there's this attempt across the country to criminalize newsgathering to make it illegal to take photographs or video of factory farm abuses and i think a response to that if these industries are trying to shut down the only windows we have and what they're actually doing reporters just have to get more creative and that's why i wanted to invest in this aerial photography and drone technology to take aerial photos of what's actually happening in terms of. mental pollution in particular now a lot of states have already adopted these ag gag laws which would make it illegal to issue any kind of secret recordings cameras videos etc in those states do drones fall under that illegality in some cases they do in idaho which is we have a lawsuit right now challenging the ag gag as unconstitutional there is a new edition which makes it illegal to take aerial photos of factory farms as well so i think this is kind of the next expansion of this ag gag trend and that's part
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of what really motivates me is sorry that's so i say is that no you know why are they so afraid of aerial photos of what's going on in their farms. and do you plan to stay away from from those states that have those strict laws it with the drone laws in particular i think that's going to be really sensitive this issue because the result of this legislation and these new laws is that it makes people like me think twice about whether or not i can actually report on what's taking place do i have the resources to face potential criminal prosecution and i think that's going to be really tough call and it's a sad reality that you have to think about that you know this is no doubt going to be a very in-depth investigation there's no guarantee about what you're going to find but are there indications that these criminalities are happening on a more frequent basis than we think absolutely in the entire response from this industry is to shut down this media footage and to pretend like it's just a few bad apples but what we're seeing is that it's not just one worker here or
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another worker there this is an industry that's really fraught with these systemic abuses for instance there's a photographer named mischka henry who took were you satellite imagery to expose factory farm pollution and this is just industry standard and i think those are the types of things that we'll be able to see with this investigation and most people think of agag laws the immediately categorize them and just into you know animal rights abuses but i've heard you say before that it it's about so much more than. what do you mean by that these laws at their core about keeping consumers in the dark the idaho ag law was in direct response to that video footage of workers punching and kicking cows in the head in the criminal are in the legal case right now the industry has said it was needed to combat media persecution this is a media war it's about shutting down journalism so it's about consumers it's about workers having the right to expose what their employers are doing and not fear for their jobs and it's also about journalists i mean i'm really proud to say we have
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sixteen different professional journalism associations who have signed on in this idaho lawsuit challenging aguilar's as unconstitutional as a freshman a threat to journalism and i want people don't know this about you but this topic is very personal because i know that in two thousand and two you ran into an issue that really sort of sparked your your journey into into this field can you talk about what happened in two thousand and two that sure is going to this so my background as a newspaper reporter in those working at the chicago tribune. and i was feeling really dark and depressed i mean sure a lot of people in this building know what it's like reporting on the horrible news right in and day out and i wanted to just do something positive so i went out leaflet in with a group of activists against animal testing. and of course absolutely horrible luck and we were all arrested and the reason whatever the magic they knew would be you know i thought it was it is the safe thing to do i mean i wasn't going to protest turning to wait that the charges were thrown out but the important part is that
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some f.b.i. agents knocked on my door a few weeks later and then knew all about my journalism career that threaten to talk to my editors and the fulbright program i had a journalism application pending and all kinds of things they put me on a domestic terrorist list phyllis i helped them so it has been a really personal issue and it's been personal and see in my sources being criminalized i mean what i experienced is nothing compared to under these ag laws you can face a year in jail where the workers who did the abuse. scott one hundred eighty days that's incredible and you're actually raising money right now on kickstarter for this drone project and a lot of people are really responsive to it i know you set the goal originally at thirty thousand dollars it's already up to forty five i know you're trying to go for ninety five that's a lot of money and there's a lot of big donors in particular you know what do you think that says about sort of this thirst to see this kind of journalism done i've been really overwhelmed by it it's not just people who are already informed about these issues or activist or anything like that i think across the board people want to see what's going on and
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people want to make informed decisions and on top of that i think people are really outraged by attempts to say that we don't have a right to that information and i think this investigation in particular has tapped into that and the more support we've gotten we can expand it we're already expanding it to multiple other states getting better equipment getting a second drone has the industry and some farmers are threatening to shoot them down if we bring them in so is the investigation is just getting better and better all right investigative journalist well potter thank you and best of luck thank you. grocery store giant whole foods is being ordered to pay up to one hundred eight hundred thousand dollars in penalties for overcharging california customers a yearlong investigation conducted by city attorneys in several california towns found that whole foods was guilty of charging customers higher prices than advertised for food products whole foods was also found guilty of failing to deduct the weight of containers when bringing up produce putting smaller amounts of food
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and have packages in the weight stated on the label and for selling items by the piece instead of by the pound whole foods says it has been cooperating with the investigation and has responded with a statement saying that they strive to ensure accuracy and transparency in everything we do based on a review of our own records and a sampling of inspection reports our pricing on weighed and measured items was accurate ninety eight percent of the time whole foods operates three hundred sixty nine stores nationally with seventy four in california that does it for now i mean you're a david. a look it was a problem very hard to make a plan to get along here a plug that had sat with the earthquake there's no lens let's zoom up
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a little a. little the m o m. one a little bit. of a.

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